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A00369 Summary:

COSPNSRLupardo, Benedetto, Abinanti, Weprin, Galef, Sepulveda, Quart, Jaffee, Goodell
MLTSPNSRBlankenbush, Crouch, Duprey, Lupinacci, Magee, McDonald, Walter
Add 92-h, Pub Serv L; add 99-y, St Fin L
Enacts the accessible electronic information act for blind and disabled persons; creates a new fund in the state finance law; authorizes a not-for-profit entity to administer the program.
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A00369 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 7, 2015
        Introduced  by  M. of A. PRETLOW, LUPARDO, BENEDETTO, ABINANTI, CLARK --
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. DUPREY,  LUPINACCI  --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
          --  recommitted  to  the  Committee  on  Corporations, Authorities and
          Commissions in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec.  2  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the public service law and the state finance law, in
          relation to enacting the accessible electronic information act
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Short title.  This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "accessible electronic information act".
     3    § 2. Legislative finding. The National Federation of the Blind  estab-
     4  lished  the  NFB-NEWSLINE  to  increase the ability of visually impaired
     5  individuals to receive information provided  by  newspapers,  magazines,
     6  journals  and other print media which are traditionally unavailable in a
     7  limited  electronic  broadcast.  Since  2002,  this  vital  service  has
     8  provided visually impaired New Yorkers with information on job listings,
     9  self-help magazines, do-it-yourself guides, political magazines, several
    10  newspapers,  TV  guide listings, and other literary necessities that all
    11  sighted New Yorkers have enjoyed. This  legislation  provides  a  stable
    12  means to bring NEWSLINE to New York.
    13    § 3. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 92-h to
    14  read as follows:
    15    § 92-h. Accessible electronic information; blind and disabled persons.
    16  1.  A  qualified not-for-profit entity capable of providing such service
    17  shall provide an accessible electronic information service for  eligible
    18  blind  and disabled persons. This service shall be planned for continua-
    19  tion from year to year and make maximum use of federal,  state,  private
    20  and  other funds available, including obtaining grant or in-kind support
    21  from appropriate programs and securing  access  to  low-cost  interstate
    22  rates for telecommunications by reimbursement or otherwise.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 369--A                           2
     1    2. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the follow-
     2  ing meanings, unless otherwise indicated:
     3    (a)  "Accessible  electronic information service" means news and other
     4  timely information (including newspapers) provided to eligible  individ-
     5  uals  from  a multi-state service center, using high-speed computers and
     6  telecommunications technology for interstate acquisition of content  and
     7  rapid distribution in a form appropriate for use by such individuals;
     8    (b)  "Blind  and  disabled  persons"  means  those individuals who are
     9  eligible for library loan services through the Library of  Congress  and
    10  the  State  Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped pursuant to
    11  36 CFR 701.10(b);
    12    (c) "Director" means the director of the selected not-for-profit enti-
    13  ty;
    14    (d) "Qualified entity" means a not-for-profit entity within this state
    15  capable of providing accessible electronic information services which:
    16    (i) provides interstate access for  eligible  persons  to  read  daily
    17  newspapers producing audio editions by computer, and
    18    (ii)  provides  a means of program administration and reader registra-
    19  tion on the internet.
    20    § 4. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-y  to
    21  read as follows:
    22    §  99-y.  Accessible electronic information service fund.  1. There is
    23  hereby established in the custody of the  state  comptroller  a  special
    24  revenue  fund  to  be  known  as  the "accessible electronic information
    25  service fund".
    26    2. Funding for the  accessible  electronic  information  service  fund
    27  shall be obtained from:
    28    a.  The  Targeted  Accessibility Fund, Inc., established by the public
    29  service commission in its "order and opinion 98-10" in an amount  deemed
    30  appropriate  for  the  purpose  of  providing electronic distribution of
    31  newspapers, periodicals, time sensitive materials, and other information
    32  which may be of benefit to the community; and
    33    b. The New York state commission for the blind  in  an  amount  deemed
    34  appropriate by the commissioner for providing electronic distribution of
    35  newspapers, periodicals, time sensitive materials, and other information
    36  which may be of benefit to the community.
    37    3.  Nothing  contained  in  this  section shall prevent the state from
    38  receiving grants, gifts or bequests and depositing them into the  acces-
    39  sible electronic information service fund according to law.
    40    4.  The accessible electronic information service fund shall be admin-
    41  istered by the public  service  commission,  in  consultation  with  the
    42  director and the commissioner, in accordance with this section.
    43    5.  The  public service commission shall require companies who provide
    44  telecommunication services to blind and disabled persons, as defined  in
    45  paragraph  (b)  of subdivision two of section ninety-two-h of the public
    46  service law, including but not limited to,  certified  telecommunication
    47  carriers,  cable  television companies that offer telephone service, and
    48  other companies the public service commission deems to be a provider  of
    49  telecommunication  services, to contribute to the Targeted Accessibility
    50  Fund, Inc. for the purpose of increasing funding to  comply  with  para-
    51  graph a of subdivision two of this section.
    52    §  5.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    53  have become a law.    Effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment
    54  and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
    55  of  this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or before
    56  such effective date.
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